Is it getting worse, or are some people just hearing about it for the first time? I’m talking about the third leading cause of death in the United States. My readers have known for a long time that one of the leading causes of death in the US is not a disease. It’s the medical system itself!
Way back in 2001 the American Medical Association reported that more than 100,000 U.S. men and women die each year from the medical treatment they receive. I told you back then that this is more than a jumbo jet crashing every single day of the year, year in and year out. The report for some mysterious reason was quietly overlooked by all the networks and news agencies. But now the ugly truth is coming to the surface again. Only this time it’s even worse.
A new report just came out last week from researchers at the famous Johns Hopkins University. It estimates that more than 250,000 Americans die each year from conventional medical treatment. On the Center for Disease Control’s official list, that would rank just behind heart disease and cancer, which each took about 600,000 lives in 2014, and in front of respiratory disease, which caused about 150,000 deaths. If a quarter of a million Americans were dying each year from a war or from anything else, we would be absolutely shocked by it and everyone would demand to put an immediate end to the cause. But when it comes to our medical system, it’s just business as usual. So don’t expect anything to change at all except, unbelievably enough, the reporting.
Yes, that’s right. The authors of the study did not reach the obvious conclusion that something needs to be done about the medical system causing these deaths. Instead they called for a better reporting system. So the answer is instead of changing a system that’s killing people, what we really need is a better way to figure out just how many people we are killing and how! Incredible as it sounds, that’s the complete conclusion of the study. But aren’t most of these deaths just something that we have to put up with? After all, a lot of the patients doctors treat are often very sick and compromised. That’s the common response I hear when I confront my conventional colleagues with the sad truth. And I have three answers for that.
First, most of the deaths are not excusable. They are preventable. Way back in 1993, after reviewing the statistics on iatrogenic deaths, a chief investigator in a Harvard study estimated that 78% of them were completely preventable. “Iatrogenic” is the word that’s used to refer to injuries that happen directly from the medical treatment a patient receives.
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Second, I think we all understand that doctors are just human. Of course, they’re going to make a mistake every now and then. But when you make a mistake with a drug or a surgery, it’s a lot worse than making a mistake with a natural supplement or a diet shift. So why do we persist in a medical system that prefers to choose increasingly expensive and increasingly dangerous drugs to treat the symptoms of a disease rather than first using natural remedies that are inherently safe?
There are two answers. The first has to do with money. When I see a patient for a natural approach to his medical condition, it’s going to take me a considerable amount of time over several weeks to months to get to the final cure. But when my conventional colleagues see a patient, they can prescribe a drug for the symptoms in about as much time as it takes to pull out a prescription pad. The other answer is training.
Medical schools are controlled by Big Pharma and the establishment. When a doctor graduates from these schools, he knows all kinds of ways to prescribe drugs. But he literally knows nothing about herbs, vitamins, nutrients, exercise, detoxification, stress management, electromagnetic therapy, biological hormone replacement, lifestyle management, nutrition, or any other kind of natural therapy that works to help the body heal. To get that kind of information, you have to go to the clerk at the health store!
My third response has to do with, ironically enough, Sir William Osler. Why is that ironic? It’s because Sir William Osler was the first head of the department of medicine at Johns Hopkins medical school. And because of his remarkable insight into how doctors can best help their patients, Dr. Osler is considered by all to be the father of modern medicine. So what did the good old doc have to say about drugs? “One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicine.” I have to say that this day and age, Dr. Osler’s advice is completely ignored. How common has it become to see patients on 5-10 different drugs and no natural therapies at all? No wonder the death rate is so high.
So let’s all become strict followers of the father of modern medicine. Let’s all avoid drugs, surgery, and radiation unless they are absolutely needed and every natural therapy has been tried. To do that, you need to have a practitioner trained in natural medicine. And the good news is that more and more of these doctors are now becoming available. Here are some websites you can refer to find a doctor like that in your area: www.aaot.us; www.acam.org; www.worldhealth.net; www.abihm.org; and www.naturopathic.org. And whenever a strictly conventional doctor tells you that your only choice is surgery, drugs, or radiation, be smart. Get another opinion from a doctor who knows all your options.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Medical Errors Are No. 3 Cause Of U.S Deaths, Researchers Say. May 3, 20166:31 PM ET
Makary MA, Daniel M. Medical error-the third leading cause of death in the US. BMJ. 2016 May 3;353:i2139.